Is there a multiple sclerosis diet, and should people with MS take supplements? Depends on who you talk to.
If there is an MS diet, what foods belong to it? And what supplements might be helpful? Here again, the answer will depend on who you talk to.
Even amongst professionals who specialize in multiple sclerosis matters, there is no consensus.
Some say you should follow a low-fat diet. Others recommend extra omega-3 essential fatty acids, still others say no, you need to major on omega-6 fatty acids. Turn the next corner, and an MS expert will tell you that there is no known advantage to any of them.
Should you eliminate gluten? Maybe.
Should you lean heavily on produce, a la the Wahls diet, or avoid saturated fat as the Swank diet advocates? Perhaps. Or then again, perhaps not.
The more I read on this subject, the more contradicitions and mixed messages I encountered as to what foods are best for someone with MS.
It's apparent that much more research is needed in this area. Meanwhile, there are a few things that are good for anyone, that a person with MS might do well to follow.
Restrict sugar consumption. Drink alcohol in moderation. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed foods. Drink plenty of water.
What about supplements?
Vitamin D supplementation also had both supporters, naysayers and those who just didn't know. Some research has been performed that, while not conclusive, offers some specific data.
Research has indicated that vitamin D could enhance immune system function, and could assist in management of cell differentiation and growth. Vitamin D may delay MS progression, and may also diminish negative brain activity.
Vitamin D is available in fatty fish, as well as in supplement form. The vitamin also is manufactured when time is spent in sunlight.
The Jan. 20, 2014 issue of JAMA online said that according to new research, it may be vital to catch and correct vitamin D deficiency early for those with MS. This was reported in a Jan. 20, 2014 WebMD.com article.
Dr. Alberto Ascherio, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health was lead researcher on the study.